Marcia Warner, former president of the Public Library Association, told Roger McKinney of the The Joplin Globe in Missouri that "when towns have to choose between funding police and fire department or libraries, libraries often lose." This, despite the fact that rural libraries are doing everything from holding reading groups for toddlers, to teaching seniors how to use new media. "There's that lifelong learning piece, and libraries are the ones helping to do that," Warner told McKinney.
McKinney tells the story of a community that realized that before it was too late. The Seneca Public Library in Seneca, Mo., a branch of the Neosho-Newton County Library, was slated for closure when residents rallied, keeping the facility open through June so the library system could buy some time and search for other funding. Losing the library would be a great loss for the community, many residents told McKinney. (Read more)